By Paige Clairmont
What's Valentine's Day without something chocolatey?! The good news is that the right kind of chocolate 100% fits into a healthy lifestyle. There are so many recipes including raw cacao and cocoa powder that turn ordinary treats into dreamy desserts.
Below I'm sharing two recipes that I make on the regular! They are both super versatile and can mixed and matched depending on what you have on hand or in your pantry. The snack balls or brownies, depending on what you’re in the mood for, are perfect pre-workout for those mornings I roll out of bed with a rumbling tummy and also great in the afternoon for a little pick me up.
Chocolate Energy Balls or “Brownies”
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almonds, walnuts, or even almond meal
1/4 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
A few shakes of cinnamon
A splash of almond milk if extra liquid is necessary
First, place the dates in your food processor – it’s going to be noisy for a minute! Once they are chopped and start to form a "dough" add in the nuts until finely chopped.
Add the remaining ingredients, keeping the almond milk out and using only if necessary. You will probably need to scrape down the sides and also taste test the spoon :) You’ll start to notice a well-mixed “dough” forming.
Using a tablespoon, roll the dough into golf ball sized balls and place in a tightly sealed container. If you’re feeling adventurous, roll in shredded coconut or hemp seeds. This makes 12-14 balls to be stored in the fridge all week long! Alternatively, spread the dough evenly in a small square/rectangular container. Sprinkle dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs on top, place in the fridge for a couple hours, then cut and serve.
Another go-to chocolatey treat is chocolate chia pudding! Remember when you used to have a chocolate pudding snack in your lunch box? Insert the healthy version here, with heart healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants from the raw cacao.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
2/3 cup lite canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon raw cacao
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
Dash of cinnamon
Let this sit in the fridge at least 1 hour or overnight. Top with a teaspoon shredded coconut or a few raspberries.
Enjoy and share the love!